What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6
Key updates on COVID-19 in the region
- Ontario is expanding vaccination eligibility to people age 60 and over.
- Ottawa is reporting 176 new COVID-19 cases and one more death.
- Quebec's premier is speaking this afternoon.
What's the latest?
Ontario is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, opening more appointments Wednesday for people 60 and over.
More residents of Ottawa's priority neighbourhoods will also become eligible, as are people across Ontario with certain high-risk health conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
Premier Doug Ford suggested Tuesday there could soon be further rule changes on top of the current provincewide shutdown.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 176 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and one more death. The number of Ottawa residents being treated in hospital for COVID-19 is nearing a record high. That includes patients in intensive care.
There is a Quebec pandemic update at 5 p.m.
How many cases are there?
As of Tuesday, 18,436 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,852 known active cases, 16,115 resolved cases and 469 deaths.
Some of its case counts and averages are at record high levels.
Public health officials have reported more than 33,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 29,900 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 147 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 174.
Akwesasne has had more than 270 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. It's had 560 cases when its southern section is added.
What can I do?
Those sorts of factors explain why Ontario is now in a provincewide shutdown until at least early May.
Indoor gatherings are not allowed, except for people who live together and the usual exception for those who live alone. Outdoor gatherings can have a maximum of five distanced people. Religious events have different rules.
Gyms and personal care services must close, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery.
Non-essential businesses can open at 25 per cent capacity. Essential ones can go to 50 per cent.
Ottawa's medical officer of health is one of the officials asking the province for stronger rules, including a stay-at-home order similar to early winter, paid sick leave, travel restrictions within Ontario and more online learning in places where school outbreaks are a problem.
Schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed until Monday at 5 a.m. in Gatineau and in the MRC des Collines-de-l'Outaouais, which almost entirely surrounds the city.
Private gatherings are banned, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household.
Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people. Places of worship can have a maximum of 25 people.
The curfew there now starts at 8 p.m.
The rest of the Outaouais is under red-zone rules, which closes restaurant dining rooms but keeps schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses open with restrictions.
The start of the curfew in this area remains at 9:30 p.m.
People across the Ottawa-Gatineau area are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons.
Distancing and isolating
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — as well as keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on.
WATCH | This wave's problems for hospitals:
OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
WATCH | The harms of ongoing fundraising challenges:
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get help with errands.
Four COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in Canada.
Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second.
About 364,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 156,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 60,000 in western Quebec.
Ontario's first doses of Phase 1 generally went to care home residents and health-care workers.
All health units in eastern Ontario are now vaccinating people aged 70 and older. People can book appointments online or over the phone.
Phase 3, slated to begin in July, will involve vaccinating anyone older than 16.
Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers.
Officials expect everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24.
Symptoms and testing
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies.
Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
Check with your area's health unit for clinic locations and hours. Some are offering pop-up or mobile clinics.
Ottawa's drive-thru test site at the National Arts Centre is closed. It should reopen at RCGT Park on Coventry Road tomorrow.
Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Cases (patrons) at The Mansion Restaurant & Bar in Kingston on Monday, March 29 and Friday, April 2 <a href="https://t.co/VPkRHN3z8v">https://t.co/VPkRHN3z8v</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19KFLA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19KFLA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ygk?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ygk</a> <a href="https://t.co/cwplH0AHuX">pic.twitter.com/cwplH0AHuX</a>—@KFLAPH
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki and Petite-Nation.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
For more information
- Ottawa Public Health.
- Your Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
- The Ontario Ministry of Health (in several languages).
- The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada.